Give Yourself The Best Start

When starting any fitness program you first need to decide whether or not you are going to commit to it. This in itself is very important. If you go into it without any commitment, you are pretty much setting yourself up for disappointment. The next really important thing to do to help you succeed is to identify your reasons for your decision to change your life.

When you don't identify your reasons for change you will find that you'll be less likely commit to it, therefore resulting in an ongoing 'roller coaster' ride from fitness plan to fitness gimmick to diet fads etc.

To help identify your reasons, ask yourself the following...

* Why do you want to begin this journey?

* Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror?

* How do you really feel about yourself?

* Are you strong, confident and full of energy?

* Would you like to create a better future for yourself?

* What are the pro's and cons of your current lifestyle?

* What are the pro's and cons of changing it?

By asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly, your reasons for deciding to change will become clear. Write your reasons down and put them in a place where you can easily see them everyday (i.e. your bathroom mirror). Read them when you first get up in the morning and right before you go to bed at night. 'Why do that', you ask? It will help you with your motivation and help re-train your thought process and give you a greater chance of success.

"By Failing To Plan, You Are Planning To Fail"

The next step is to Set Your Goals. Decide exactly what it is that you want to achieve and write them down. (For me personally, I bought a little note book to dedicate to my fitness goals and training programs. I guess you could call it my personal fitness diary!)

Is your personal goal to loose weight? To build muscle? Whatever your goal is, be specific. Write down how much fat you want to loose, how much muscle you want to build. Although you need to be realistic, do not limit yourself! Whether you've decided to write all this down in a diary like myself, or on a piece of paper, do as you did with your reasons for kick-starting your fitness program. Place it in any obvious spot (maybe beside your bed or on the fridge!), and read it out aloud every single day. Feel free to sign and date it, making a contract with yourself often helps to give you that little extra boost!

So, once you have written down your goals and are clear on them, write down what you will do to reach them. This is where you will fine tune your fitness plan. Write down, specific days and times of the week you plan on doing your weights and cardio. Plan your workouts. Write down what muscles you will concentrate on, on what days. What sort of cardio are you going to do? To spice up your workouts and to make sure you and your muscles don't get too comfortable, change your workout routines about every 4 weeks. This makes sure you don't get bored and it also ensures your muscles do not become complacent. Besides, exercise is supposed to be fun, so spice it up!

If you are a busy person, and feel you have no time, you'll find by making this plan beforehand allows you to easily make time. Gradually, as your energy and fitness increase, so will your time! Next, make a list of foods you can eat and organize your meal plan. Once you have done all this, put it next to or with your goals.

Now, the next step (and I know some of you may not like this, but it is very important!) is to take a 'Before' photo of yourself. By doing this you will be able to see yourself truly. We see ourselves everyday in our mirrors, in the morning, in our rear view mirror while driving, walking past our reflection in a store window, at night before we go to bed, that we barely notice any change in our appearance. And that is why it is so important to take a before photo, so we can monitor our progress. It's a reward in itself! If you were to track your progress by taking a photo roughly every 4 weeks, you will be able to see the results! It's a great way to help you to stay on track.

Please remember to visit your GP before starting any fitness program. Once you've done all that...You are Ready to Go!

Article by Kimberley Potter, a qualified Sports Massage Therapist who specializes in Women's Health & Fitness issues. For information and tips on Women's Health and Fitness, please visit

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